At what period the right of advowson arose is uncertain; it was probably the result of gradual growth.
The true patron can, however, exercise his right to present at the next vacancy, and can reserve the advowson from an usurper at any time within three successive incumbencies so created adversely to his right, or within sixty years.
An advowson may, however, be sold during a vacancy, though that will not give the right to present to that vacancy; and a clerk may buy an advowson even though it be only an estate for life, and present himself on the next vacancy.
An advowson may also be partly appendant, and partly in gross, e.g.
In a collative advowson the bishop is himself the patron, either in his own right or in the right of the proper patron, which has lapsed to him through not being exercised within the statutory period of six months after the vacancy occurred.
If an owner granted to another every second presentment, the advowson would be appendant for the grantor's turn and in gross for the grantee's.
The right of presentation may be exercised by its owner whether he be an infant, executors, trustees, coparceners (who, if they cannot agree, present in turn in order of age) or mortgagee (who must present the nominee of the mortgagor), or a bankrupt (who, although the advowson belongs to his creditors, yet has the right to present to a vacancy).
Briefly, it prevents the dealing with the right of presentation as a thing apart from the advowson itself; increases the power of the bishops to refuse the presentation of unfit persons, and removes several abuses which had arisen in the transfer of patronage.
But where, as is often the case, the right of presentation has been sold by itself, and so separated from the manor, it is called an advowson in gross.
The village and valley belonged of old to the emperor, who in 1234 gave the advowson to the Knights of St Lazarus, by whom it was sold in 1272 to the Austin Canons of Interlaken, on the suppression of whom in 1528 it passed to the state.